Welcome to “Scare Techniques,” a pilot for a video sequence that goals to discover how completely different creators make horror video games. We see horror as a particular style—horror video games aren’t all the time performed for a similar causes as different video games. They are not essentially enjoyable, and their reward typically comes from overcoming one’s personal fears, somewhat than from overcoming the sport’s mechanics.
We’re beginning the sequence by cozying as much as Frictional Video games cofounder Thomas Grip. To name the discharge of Frictional’s Amnesia: The Darkish Descent a watershed second in horror gaming could be a extreme understatement—it launched the careers of many Let’s Play YouTubers and spawned dozens of copycats all attempting the identical scare-your-brains-out method. The corporate is presently engaged on Amnesia: Rebirth, however Grip took time away from ending Rebirth to take us by his philosophy and method to horror sport design.
(Alongside the way in which, he additionally shared some Rebirth previews with us, and our video above showcases just a few Rebirth gameplay parts that have not been seen but!)
Issues that go bump within the night time
Irrespective of the way you slice it, horror is in the end subjective. We’ll by no means agree on which issues are scariest, which gameplay parts are mandatory, and even what the expertise is for. This places horror sport creators in a bizarre place—how do you make good video games in a style the place “good” does not essentially imply the identical factor because it does elsewhere?
On a private stage, I have been a fan of Grip for years, and I actually respect his views on sport design. He additionally directed Soma, which was a masterpiece—and the scariest sport I believe I’ve ever performed. (Exterior of the ambiance and the setting and the monsters, Soma really managed to present me nightmares due to the questions it triggered me to ask about life and existence and humanity and consciousness. And is not that what any good piece of artwork ought to do?)
With unusual aeons
This is not our first dive into horror—we have executed movies on the style earlier than, together with speaking with the venerable Glen Schofield about Lifeless House and former chatting with Grip concerning the unique Amnesia.
However take into account these earlier efforts as prologue, as a result of “Scare Techniques” as a sequence is a ardour challenge of mine. We do not actually plan on doing evaluations or previews of video games, however somewhat utilizing the discharge of a sport as a possibility to discover an entire style. Like “Battle Tales,” we need to apply that Ars Technica particular sauce to a topic and provides good designers like Grip the prospect to speak concerning the nuts-and-bolts of how they make us afraid. (So should you occur to have any favourite horror style video games you need us to dig into, please drop a notice within the feedback!)
Amnesia: Rebirth will probably be out on October 20 for PC and Ps 4. It is presently accessible for pre-order on Steam or GOG for $26.99.